If you’re interested in herbal supplements for mental performance and clarity, you’ll have surely heard of rhodiola rosea, AKA golden root, Aaron’s rod, or orpin rose.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen, a yellow-petalled plant growing in arctic climates which calms your mind and slashes stress levels. It’s been proven in numerous studies to lower the stress hormone cortisol, and ranks alongside ginseng and ashwagandha as the greatest stress-reducing supplements. However, rhodiola rosea is also promising for athletic performance, boosting energy, strength, instincts, and stamina.
It’s famous as a performance enhancing supplement used by Soviet Olympians back in the 1980s, who were so impressed with its energy boosting powers that they vowed to kept it hidden from Westerners, but even the Viking hordes took rhodiola rosea to become hardier warriors. More recently, Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan were given rhodiola rosea as an experiment.
But which is the best rhodiola rosea brand? That’s what we’ll answer today.
Russian scientists have discovered a great deal about this plant over the years, giving us all the tools needed to formulate the ultimate supplement. Firstly, watch out for these side effects and discontinue supplementation if you notice them: insomnia, agitation and headaches.
For a shortcut, the best brands here are Perfect Nutrition and Eclectic Institute.
Let’s get started:
One – Eclectic Institute
The single greatest rhodiola rosea money can buy. Every brand on this list is high quality, with the correct compounds being in place, but Eclectic Institute is a rare rhodiola rosaea which meets every requirement.
The rhodiola itself is authentic, from the correct rhodiola rosea subspecies. The key compounds are standardised to high levels, with a range of 2.8-3.7% rosavins and a range of 0.8-1.5% salidrosides. Each batch is tested by an independent laboratory to ensure potency and purity.
Eclectic Institute is also sourced from the vast, harsh wilderness of Siberia, the optimal location. The plant is freeze-dried to ensure maximum nutrition, with no cheap but harsh chemicals used during the extraction. The additives are minimal, consisting solely of the hypromellose capsule. There’s no magnesium stearate, soy, croscarmellose, or other harmful additives in sight.
Eclectic Institute even has a strong dosage of 500mg, beating other brands, some of which only contain 100mg per capsule. Somehow, Eclectic Institute combines this quality with excellent value for money, with 90 capsules per bottle for an affordable price.
Eclectic Institute has everything you need for an anxiety calming, performance enhancing rhodiola rosea.
Amazon link: Eclectic Institute Rhodiola Rosea.
Two – Divine Bounty
Divine Bounty features an equally high dosage of 500mg per capsule. The rhodiola rosea is standardised to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides, while the only additives are the harmless vegetarian capsule and rice concentrate. This brand is completely free from magnesium stearate and other harsh additives.
The rhodiola rosia itself is potent; like Eclectic Institute, Divine Bounty is sourced from the harsh wastelands of Siberia. Why is this so important? The rhodiola rosea plant must have a very specific profile of nutrients to reduce stress properly, including several types of rosavins.
It’s cold and harsh weather, and high altitudes, which stimulates the plant to manufacture these compounds for its own survival. Rhodiola rosea also evolved in Siberia, with tales of ancient Mongolian armies using the plant too. Supplements grown in farms can be effective, but wild Siberian rhodiola rosea is the ultimate.
Elsewhere, the final benefit of Divine Bounty is its capsule count of 90, giving you plenty of time to test the supplement.
Divine Bounty’s rhodiola rosea succeeds in almost every way.
Amazon link: Divine Bounty Pure Rhodiola Rosea Supplement.
Three – Gaia Herbs
One of the better stress-lowering supplements you could buy today. Gaia Herbs is among the few rhodiola roseas which is confirmed to be Siberian. Gaia Herbs uses liquid phytocapsules, which apparently have better bio-availability.
The only two additives are vegetable glycerin and vegetable cellulose, which are very safe. Gaia Herbs is again standardised to contain high levels of rosavin; in fact, the standardisation is higher than average at 5%, although the salidrosides are not standardised.
Why are rosavins so vital? Because many of the great studies on rhodiola rosea, whether it’s for stress, energy or focus, tested rhodiola rosea which was standardised to 3% rosavins. These natural glycoside compounds are specifically believed to be behind rhodiola rosea’s anti-depressant properties. Note that “rosavins” are divided into three main compounds, which are rosavin, rosin and rosarin.
The only downside with Gaia Herbs is that the dosage per capsule is low, at 120mg, which is why Eclectic Institute wins easily. However, it remains high quality; the rhodiola rosea is even tested for heavy metal contamination in an independent laboratory.
Amazon link: Gaia Herbs Rhodiola Rosea.
Four – NutraChamps
An extremely pure and potent rhodiola rosea. The reason why NutraChamps ranks highly is its confirmed Siberian origin, its minimal additives and its high dosage of 300mg per capsule. The only additive is the vegetable capsule, making NutraChamps a vegan brand too, and free from magnesium stearate.
NutraChamps has an identical standardisation rate to Eclectic Institute – 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides. The latter is the other main bioactive compound in rhodiola rosea. Salidrosides are responsible for much of the stress reducing effects, and even have neuroprotective properties, defending the brain against Alzheimers disease. Salidrosides also have bonus anti-inflammatory properties when taken as a supplement.
Unlike poorly absorbed medical wonders such as curcumin in turmeric, the bioavailability of salidrosides is high, estimated at 32.1% in one study. Both salidrosides and rosavins are found in wild rhodiola rosea, or plants grown in cold Siberian environments at least, but standardisation guarantees that the magic is there. Finally, NutraChamps has a high capsule count of 120, sufficient to conduct a proper experiment.
Short of travelling to Siberia and harvesting your own rhodiola rosea, NutraChamps is very hard to beat.
Amazon link: NutraChamps Rhodiola Rosea Supplement.
Five – Perfect Supplements
Perfect Supplements lives up to its name, because firstly, the rhodiola rosea is soured from Siberia, guaranteeing that the plant was pumping out as much nutrition as it could. Secondly, there’s only one additive in Perfect Supplements, the only one necessary, the vegetable cellulose capsule. Like NutraChamps, this brand is standardised to 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides for guaranteed benefits.
Perfect Supplements has a lower than average dosage of 200mg, but has one key advantage. Like Eclectic Institute, this is a wild-crafted, freeze-dried rhodiola rosea. Freeze dried rhodiola rosea is when whole plants are frozen, with the moisture then being evaporated, while spray dried is more economical but briefly heats the plant to temperatures of 160c.
The former is easily superior; spray dried rhodiola will still reduce stress, but freeze dried is richer in the key medicinal compounds, which are damaged by the heat.
Even a study confirmed the superiority; both forms were given to rats, who were tested for endurance, strength and stamina, and the freeze dried rhodiola rats swam for 15.4% longer than the spray dried rats. They also recovered from the exercise more quickly, while the reduction in stress hormones was greater, although still significant in the spray dried rats.
Both extracts were standardised to 3% rosavins and 0.8% salidrosides, so the difference lies with more subtle, less researched compounds. Finally, Perfect Supplements has a capsule count of 60, which is slightly lower than other brands, but the quality is worth it.
Perfect Supplements is not just the greatest rhodiola rosea available, it’s among the best stress-busting supplements.
Amazon link: Perfect Rhodiola Rosea by Perfect Supplements.
Six – Nutracraft
Nutracraft is another rhodiola rosea supplement which is confirmed to be mostly sourced from Siberia. It’s also confirmed to be pure, with gelatin and rice flour as its sole additives. Gelatin is an animal derived jelly used to form the capsule, which is safe (although clearly not vegan), while rice flour is a harmless filler.
The dosage is potent, with 450mg per capsule. The rhodiola rosea is also potent, standardised to 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. Nutracraft may or may not be freeze dried, with no confirmation given, but the higher dosage will compensate for any lost nutrition if it isn’t.
Nutracraft is also manufactured in accordance with the Good Manufacturing Practises, or GMP guidelines, a code of conduct for purely made products. The only downside compared to NutraChamps is that occasionally, the rhodiola rosea is sourced from other countries when Siberian farms run dry. Luckily this is only used as a backup option. The final advantage is Nutracraft’s capsule count of 60, giving you an excellent experimentation period.
Nutracraft is easily among the better rhodiola rosea supplements being sold, almost matching a raw plant from the Siberian wilderness.
Amazon link: Nutracraft Rhodiola Rosea Extract Supplement.
Seven – GNC
With GNC we have another secret solution for stress. The dosage is 340mg per capsule, beating many well-formulated but unnecessarily weak products on the market. The capsule count is also higher than average, with 100 for an affordable price.
The additives are minimal; the list simply reads “vegetable cellulose capsule, cellulose”. GNC is also authentic rhodiola rosea; note that rhodiola is a wider plant subspecies with over 50 members. Other types include rhodiola integrifolia and rhodiola rhodantha, which are beneficial in their own ways, but not what we’re looking for, so always check the ingredients label thoroughly.
Why do Eclectic Institute and Perfect Supplements ultimately win? Because GNC isn’t confirmed to be grown in Siberia or freeze-dried, meaning that the plant may not contain as much nutrition. That said, the rosavins are standardisation to 3% and 10.2mg overall, guaranteeing that GNC features many of rhodiola rosea’s powers. GNC also sells one of the greatest olive leaf extract supplements around.
If you’re looking for a reliable rhodiola rosea supplement, GNC succeeds wildly.
Amazon link: GNC Herbal Plus Rhodiola Extract.
Eight – aSquared Nutrition
A very trustworthy and reliable rhodiola rosea brand. The area where aSquared Nutrition blasts through the finishing lines is its massive capsule count of 180. Theoretically, that’s a near-6 month supply, but since I also recommend cycling rhodiola rosea, to prevent resistance to the rosavins and salidroside, it could even be a 9 month or year’s supply.
Speaking of which, cycling is very important; swapping your rhodiola rosea with another adapotgen like ashwagandha or ginseng every two weeks is a smart strategy. ASquared Nutrition’s ingredients list is also very pure, with only gelatin and rice flour as the additives.
The dosage is potent at 450mg, while aSquared Nutrition is among the all-time greats for natural nutrition overall, with their turmeric, resveratrol, and magnesium being excellent quality.
The downsides? There’s no confirmation of the rhodiola rosea being Siberian grown or freeze dried, meaning that Eclectic Institute and Perfect Supplements maintain their grip at the top.
Overall though, aSquared Nutrition has a strong chance of calming stress and enhancing your mood.
Amazon link: aSquared Nutrition Pure Rhodiola Rosea Supplement.
Nine – NusaPure
The rhodiola rosea dosage per capsule is 400mg, similar to aSquared Nutrition, but according to NusaPure, the concentrated extract features the nutritional equivalent of 4800mg. This could be negative or positive; it could increase the risk of an overdose and side effects, but it could also increase the supplement’s power. If you cut your dosage to account for the extra strength, you would also save a lot of money. Additionally, the rhodiola rosea is the only non-standardised extract here, making NusaPure a particularly interesting option.
Elsewhere, NusaPure has another massive capsule supply at 180. The only additives are gelatin and rice flour. Like every brand listed here, NusaPure contains no magnesium stearate. Another advantage is being manufactured in the USA in a GMP compliant factory, and having a 30 day refund guarantee, sufficient to run a two week cycle.
NusaPure is an extra powerful pure rhodiola rosea brand.
Amazon link: NusaPure Best Rhodiola Rosea.
Ten – We Like Vitamins
Our final brand is another strong one, beating most rhodiola brands on the market. Firstly, the additives list is free from soy, croscarmellose, or magnesium stearate, with only the harmless gelatin and rice powder being included. We Like Vitamins is pure and potent, with the factory abiding by the Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP) code. The rhodiola rosea is standardised, consisting of the normal 3% rosavins and 1% salidrosides.
The dosage, meanwhile, is 450mg per capsule. The bottle advises you to take 2 capsules daily for a 90 day supply, but 1 daily is easily sufficient. What’s the optimal rhodiola dosage in general? Studies on stress have used varying dosages, but one study gave humans one 200mg capsule for breakfast and another 200mg capsule for dinner, and detected significant reductions in anger, anxiety, stress and depression. Starting with a lower dosage is the smartest option. Thereafter, you can increase the dosage for an experiment.
Elsewhere, We Like Vitamins has a 30 day refund guarantee in the unlikely case that you’re unsatisfied. The only flaw is the sparse information on the origin and extraction method.
If you’re interested in experimenting with adaptogens, We Like Vitamins is the supplement for you.
Amazon link: We Like Vitamins Standardised Rhodiola Rosea.
Overall, the market for rhodiola rosea is quite healthy, with Consumer Labs discovering that most brands complied with their own listed dosages, and only two brands failing, but your quest is now even easier.
The best products are easily Perfect Nutrition and Eclectic Institute. Every brand here is well formulated and potent, and free from harsh additives, but Perfect Nutrition and Eclectic Institute are both Siberian sourced and confirmed to be freeze dried.
Those brands are both vegan too, with only Nutracraft, aSquared Nutrition, NusaPure, and We Like Vitamins being off limits because of the gelatin capsules. NusaPure is the only non-standardised brand here, but compensates for it with a 12:1 extract. It’s also a good option if you’re dedicated to purely natural supplements.
Thanks for reading!